Advancing Climate-adaptive Designs (Phase II)

The Estuary Program and NEIWPCC supports design consultants to partner with a community to select elements from their Climate-adaptive Design studio and develop them to an implementable, community supported project.

Design elements chosen for the project must meet the goals of the Climate-adaptive Design process to increase community resilience to sea-level rise and climate change through an engaged stakeholder process, while considering technical, regulatory and funding feasibility. Projects must also enhance habitat value while reducing the impacts of shoreline and/or stormwater flooding.



  • Develop an inclusive stakeholder engagement strategy to use throughout
  • Review student concepts from the Climate-adaptive Design Studio to work from
  • Conduct a site analysis and compile baseline data and climate projections
  • Draft project designs for community and regulatory review
  • Incorporate feedback to complete project design and implementation plan

Completed projects

Kingston Point Climate-adaptive Beach with Wetland Cove (2020)

Watch: Sustainable Shorelines webinar on completed CaD Phase II projects in Kingston and Piermont

Supermass Studio, along with emphas!s design and EDesign Dynamics, partnered with the City of Kingston to reimagine the Kingston Point Beach. The overall vision of the project is to create a well connected and resilient Kingston Point which can remain a viable public and natural asset for Kingston for decades to come. The completed project design proposes a reinforced beach and wetland cove at Kingston Point that will:

  • Protect the many existing recreational assets including the public beach, kayak launch, and beach volleyball, and introducing a new pier access point,
  • Enhance habitat with upland forest, meadow, wetland park, and intertidal wetland, and
  • Use nature-based solutions to provide coastal protection, including a living shoreline, berm, living breakwater, and eco-concrete blocks.

Emphas!s design worked with the City of Kingston to "co-brand" their many waterfront projects under Weaving the Waterfront to help communicate a more holistic approach to the public. They hosted a public, outdoor kick-off event where each project displayed poster boards and a survey collected community input. The event included a tour along the waterfront with consultants representing and interpreting their individual projects. See the City's outreach and engagement website for this project for more information.

You can download the Final Kingston Point Beach CaD II Design Report online.

Piermont Living Shoreline (2020)

HDR partnered with the Village of Piermont to redesign the coastal area just north of the pier near Parelli Park. Based on stakeholder input and CaD Principals (see below), four overarching design goals emerged for the project:

  • Design a self-sustaining living shoreline feature that serves as a model for other communities along the Hudson interested in climate adaptation,
  • Stabilize the existing shoreline north of the Piermont Pier and East of Parelli Park to Flywheel Park,
  • Develop intertidal and subtidal habitat features to attenuate wave energy and simultaneously benefit fish, shellfish and other wildlife, and
  • Maintain and enhance recreational access to the river and its shoreline habitats while including educational and interpretive elements that effectively engage the public.

To accomplish these goals, the completed project design proposes reinforcing the existing submerged rock jetty, providing multiple access points to the river including a beach access for kayaks, vegetated marsh plantings in the intertidal zone, and a gradually sloping revetment planted with native vegetation to help protect the existing shoreline from erosion along Flywheel Park. Also, a residential demonstration planting garden in Parelli Park with native species, interpretive signage and other recreational upgrades.

You can download the Final Piermont Living Shoreline CaD II Design Report online.

Principles of Climate-adaptive Design

The design process and implementable project developed through this work should:

  • Meet the standards for receiving all applicable state and local permits and be justifiable as reasonable and necessary 
  • Consider up-to-date maps and data (see links below for regional climate projections and mappers for flooding and tidal wetland migration, etc.) on current and future projected conditions 
  • Adequately and cost-effectively withstand flood and erosion risk now and over the life of the project 
  • Be cost-effective over the long term given operation, ongoing maintenance and replacement costs 
  • Maintain and add ecological value to the site(s) by conserving or restoring existing natural features and their potential pathways to migrate over time (for example, wetlands moving upland with sea-level rise) 
  • Improve or create water-dependent or water-enhanced uses and/or relocate water independent uses out of risk areas 
  • Aim to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and mitigate negative impacts like green gentrification
  • Create new opportunities for public access, education and/or interpretation that can be enjoyed throughout the year 
  • Address contaminated soils, brown fields, etc.

Concepts and Design Products from Climate-adaptive Design Studio (Phase I)